Employees report understaffing at Pennsylvania hospital: 'Somebody could get hurt'

Workers at Berwick (Pa.) Hospital Center's psychiatric unit are sounding the alarm on persistent staffing issues that pose a threat to patient and employee safety, ABC affiliate WNEP reported Nov. 29.

Berwick Hospital Center's emergency department was closed in September due to a lack of staff, according to WNEP. Priyam Sharma, the hospital's owner, filed for bankruptcy protection in October.

"There [are] some days where there is an RN all by herself and there are no aides scheduled at all," an anonymous employee told WNEP. "So in an instance where a patient becomes combative … [the situation] could easily escalate, and somebody could get hurt."

An official appointed by the bankruptcy court to ensure that the quality of care at the facility is maintained after the claim was filed reported that the hospital needs to hire more staff before the facility will be permitted to increase its patient capacity, according to the report.

In response to the claims, Ms. Sharma told WNEP the hospital is working to hire more staff and asked for community support.

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